RUPCO Strives to Better Engage Latino Community

Pictured l-r: James Kopp, NYS Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, Hannah Karp, Hugo JuleOn October 21st, RUPCO Outreach Coordinators Hugo Jule and James Kopp and Executive Assistant to the CEO Maru Gonzalez attended the 3rd Annual Hudson Valley Latino Forum held at Dutchess County Community College in Poughkeepsie.

Nearly 300 participants — including NYS Secretary of State, NYS Comptroller, State Assembly and County legislature members, City Mayor, Governor’s office, Empire State Development, Federal and State Agencies — came out to share perspective and service information. Organizations from Long Island to Albany and more that 25 sponsors, including RUPCO GJGNY, contributed their ideas on how to improve the quality of life of all residents in the Hudson Valley. 

Several round table discussions addressed health, media, community, education, politics, business and arts. James sat in on the media and politics sessions; Hugo attended the community and business sessions; and Maru attended the politics and community sessions. During the business session, Hugo explained how saving energy can improve business profit, as well as save money at home. Hannah Karp from Solarize Hudson Valley tabled next to RUPCO so that energy efficiency and renewable energy were on display together.

“One concern expressed at the forum was the difficulty that agencies have in bringing services to the Latino community,” notes Hugo. “This is due, in part, to the different immigration situations that residents may be dealing with. There needs to be a consistent, trustworthy presence of agencies in the community. Moving forward, the RUPCO GJGNY team will continue to work with the community leaders who work with the Hispanic population in the Hudson Valley so they may all benefit from the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program.”

RUPCO is also working to provide better service connections to the Latino community with its first-time homebuyer program and foreclosure prevention services. RUPCO recently launched a Spanish home buyer education orientation series and several energy-efficiency videos spoken in, or translated overdub, into Spanish.

Pictured l-r: James Kopp, NYS Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, Hannah Karp, Hugo Jule

RUPCO Green Team Reaches Milestone

graph of NYS CBO energy retrofits through February 2015With the dawn of spring right around the corner, the timing’s perfect for a fresh update on RUPCO Green Team. Despite the long winter., we have not been hibernating!

For Best Performance by a CBO in NYS, the award goes to….

RUPCO brought awareness of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® (HPwES) to roughly 4470 people interested in various energy-efficiency programs. Of that auspicious total,

  • 2009 people applied to the program
  • 1335 received a free or reduced-cost Home Energy Assessment or Audit
  • 327 people had their homes retrofitted to be more energy efficient

More importantly, the RUPCO Green Team reached an impressive milestone. Over the last 14 months, 203 people received retrofits!  This is by far the best performance by a NYSERDA-contractor to date. Currently, the RUPCO Green Team is the highest performing Community Based Organization (CBO) in the State. Looking at the chart above, it’s apparent the RUPCO Green Team is helping Hudson Valley residents save energy every day.  With 185 retrofits on the books through February 28, 2015, RUPCO completed 131 and 54 are approved and in the pipeline. Our nearest competition in the Energy Saving race booked just 111 … Go RUPCO Green Team!

Our goal is to reach 311 retrofits by November 30th, 2015. We’re well on our way to that goal, but our Outreach Coordinators need your help. We’re here to help you understand, apply, enroll and receive energy-efficiency improvements on your home this year. Help put us over the top by contacting the RUCPO Green Team today! We need just 108 retrofits more this year.

NYSERDA Extends Contracts through July 2016

The Green Team continues its advocacy of improving the NYSERDA Programs; we rally hard. We’re also advocating to extend the term that these programs will be available to the public.

After a few meetings (including the last one with the Governor’s office), NYSERDA has agreed to extend the length of the contracts for each CBO. RUPCO Green Jobs | GreenNew York gets to continue our programs through July 2016. Thanks to the hard work of the statewide network of CBO’s, we’re moving forward and bringing these programs to the underserved areas of the Mid-Hudson Valley Region. Now we can spend less time worrying about when program funding streams will end or if we have enough time to help those in need. instead, we’re dedicating more time to the actual work that remains, and we’re focused on accomplishing way more than is required.

Funding for Research on What Works

RUPCO Green Jobs | Green New York also recently secured additional funding ($99,000) thru NYSERDA PON 2686 with Energize New York (ENY)/Energy Improvement Corporation (EIC), partners at Bard College Center for Environmental Policy (BCEP) and Central Hudson for a 3-year study. The research goal is collaborative and direct: “Utilizing a range of behavioral strategies, support services, trusted source messaging, community-based marketing and online tools ro overcome known barriers to action, the program has delivered impressive measurable results.”

To achieve the goals of PON 2686, the EIC will partner with Central Hudson for the energy data components, the Bard Center for Environmental Policy for the experimental design and research components, and RUPCO for a portion of the direct homeowner support elements. This homeowner work is largely what we are currently doing as it relates to collecting and reporting Home Performance data. Advancing our partnerships in the region has been one of the ways RUPCO has achieved its reputable success over the past three years. ENY has been a part of our program planning from the start of our first NYSERDA contract. Both of our organizations are finding unique ways to work together in Westchester County and beyond.

Solar_panels_on_house_roof_winter_viewBring Solar Energy to the Hudson Valley

Lastly, RUPCO Green Jobs | Green New York has built a new partnership with two local organizations that will make solar energy more prevalent and affordable in the Hudson Valley: Solarize Hudson Valley.

Congratulations to Catskill Mountainkeeper and Sustainable Hudson Valley for winning NYSERDA funding for a Solarize campaign in the Hudson Valley.  Solarize is a proven strategy that makes it easier and more affordable for households to employ solar energy by scaling up local markets significantly wherever it has been used. The State funding contract is currently moving through the channels, but residential financing for the Solarize Hudson Valley Campaign will be available through two NYSERDA Residential Loans Options. These loans can be used for both the HPwES program as well as the NY Sun Initiative program. Having these loans in place are simply the best options for customers interested in home energy efficiency and solar installs. Without these loans, it would much more difficult to acquire both.

Join us in celebrating these accomplishments! Because of your interest and engagement, RUPCO Green Jobs | Green New York is making energy-efficiency a household word, changing one home at a time.

Michael D’Arcy is RUPCO Green Jobs | Green New York NYSERDA Outreach Coordinator and Regional Energy Coach. Call Michael with your questions about solar and energy at (845) 705-7883 or email [email protected].